Hair & Exercise
Exercise increases your body temperature and improved blood circulation to your skin and scalp. I shared in my, ‘Scalp Massage’ post that increased blood circulation to the scalp brings nourishment to the hair follicles and supports hair growth.
The key to working out and keeping hair healthy is by focusing on keeping your regimen as low maintenance as possible. Loose buns (my preference), pineapples, maybe even twists are alternative styling options. Since sweat and salt accumulates on the scalp and wear away at the hair’s cuticles, hair should be cleansed regularly (how regular is to be determined by you). However, shampooing on a regular can cause additional problems for our textured hair.
Co-washing is great for maintaining hair. If you prefer to use a sulfate free shampoo instead that’s fine too. Conditioners are gentle and can lift most workout gunk from the scalp. And because a co-washing workout regimen tends to be moisture intense, moisturizing conditioners will need to be alternated with protein conditioners (or leave-in conditioner) on a regular basis. Alternating products will keep your hair from going limp from too much moisture and constant hydrating. As with any regimen, don’t forget about clarifying your hair at least once a month because of accumulated conditioning agents or oils on the hair over time.
If you wash your hair after a workout, take note of how your hair feels as you’re rinsing. If it feels too soft, limp or weak, follow the rinsing with a protein-based leave in conditioner. If your hair feels tough or hard after rinsing, then follow up with a moisturizing product. After conditioning, make sure to give your hair a chance to dry. What I like to do sometimes after a workout, and if I’m not ready to wash my hair, is to apply a little leave in conditioner with water and apply it to those areas where it’s frizzy then diffuse on the cool setting.
If you workout daily, conditioning everyday and keeping the hair wet over long periods of time is not ideal for our textured hair. When hair remains wet constantly from workout to workout with no chance to recover and dry, the hair begins to falter (@brunnettewithbounce can testify to this).
Too much manipulation from detangling daily can be too strenuous on our hair strands. What you can do in this case is reduce your post-workout hydration to once or twice a week and allow your hair to dry completely and recover in between. Keep your full shampoo and conditioning session for times when your hair has been severely soiled or sweated out.
How do your preserve your hair during and after a workout? Has anyone found success with a dry shampoo?